The Sudden Loss of an Alabama Crimson Tide Legend, Cecil Hurt

Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Alabama Crimson Tide community lost one of its own today in legendary Tuscaloosa News sports writer, Cecil Hurt.

Alabama Crimson Tide sports writer, Cecil Hurt, passes away at 62

There are no words to properly eulogize the man who never seemed to be without them.

I didn’t know Cecil personally, but he was the type of person who made everyone feel like they were old friends. He became one of the most respected members of the media in the country, certainly by Nick Saban’s standards. He covered Alabama athletics from Bryant to Saban and everything in between. No one knew Tide sports better than Cecil Hurt.

No one had a way with words quite like Cecil Hurt either. In the brightest lights and the darkest nights, Cecil had a way of saying exactly what everyone needed to hear but couldn’t formulate themselves. From the championships to the tragedies, Cecil penned it all. It was an art he mastered with years of experience, poise, and grace.

Cecil was revered and respected as a reporter. Many knew that no rumor regarding the Crimson Tide was true until Cecil Hurt wrote about it. He served the Alabama Crimson Tide community faithfully for almost 40 years. He received a shared Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for The Tuscaloosa News coverage of the 2011 tornado that ravaged the town. He was also inducted in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

An excellent writer and an even better man… The tributes are pouring out on Twitter with memories and personal asides of those who shared a small interaction with Cecil that made them feel larger than life.

My only interaction with Cecil came after Tim Brando called out an article I wrote on Twitter that he felt was whiny. Cecil Hurt came to my defense with Mr. Brando.

Let me tell you there is no greater compliment. I was starstruck. Cecil Hurt is the man every Alabama sportswriter aspires to be. To know he read something I had written humbled me.

Cecil Hurt was the kind of person who made everybody feel like a somebody. Twitter is flooded with fond memories and love for Cecil from all over. Sports allegiances aside, everyone respected Cecil’s work. His quick wit and beautiful words will be sorely missed. His legacy lives on in all the Alabama sportswriters who idolized him.

In one of his most moving columns, Cecil Hurt remembered Alabama basketball super fan, Luke Ratcliff who passed away at a young age earlier this year. Cecil recalled a story where Luke raced home from Starkville to be in Tuscaloosa when the basketball team returned from a big win. His goal was to be there waiting to welcome them home.

In reference to Cecil’s last line, I can only hope that today he was greeted by a “plaid coat and twirling cigar” and Fluff saying “I had to hurry so I’d be here to greet you.” RIP Cecil Hurt.